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29 Posts authored by: rhallock Employee

By now, many enthusiasts know the story of AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processors: powerful creative performance, smooth gaming, and an uncompromising platform with tons of ports and lanes. The award-winning Threadripper 1950X and Threadripper 1920X CPUs proved that AMD is serious about HEDT performance, and that disrupting the status quo still matters in the most elite PC segment.

 

However, it’s a basic economic truth that not every creative user is able to spend up to $999 on a powerful processor. That does not diminish their appetite for a full complement of PCI Express® lanes, or quad-channel memory, or a feature-rich motherboard. But it did get us thinking about how to make that goodness more accessible, and we built the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X processor to answer the call. It’s available starting today with a manufacturer-recommended price of $549 USD!

 

About the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X CPU

“Just choose a core count” has been our mantra summarizing the consistent feature set of the Threadripper family, and that extends to the Threadripper 1900X, which has a lot in common with its big brothers: boost clocks up to 4.0GHz, Extended Frequency Range (XFR) clocks up to 4.2GHz, quad channel DRAM support, 64 PCIe® lanes, and a 180W TDP. In fact, you can count the differences on one hand:

 

  • The Threadripper 1900X has a higher base clock at 3.8GHz
  • There’s 20MB of L2+L3 cache
  • It has 8 cores and 16 threads

 

AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900XAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1920XAMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X
Cores/Threads

8/16

12/2416/32
CCX Configuration4+0 (Die0) / 4+0 (Die1)3+3 (Die0) / 3+3 (Die1)4+4 (Die0) / 4+4 (Die1)
L2 Cache Configuration512K per core (4MB total)512K per core (6MB total)512K per core (8MB total)
L3 Cache Configuration8MB per die (16MB total)16MB per die (32MB total)16MB per die (32MB total)
Base Frequency3.8GHz3.5GHz3.4GHz
All Cores Boost FrequencyUp to 3.9GHzUp to 3.7GHzUp to 3.7GHz
Boost FrequencyUp to 4.0GHz (4 cores)Up to 4.0GHz (4 cores)Up to 4.0GHz (4 cores)
XFR FrequencyUp to 4.2GHz (4 cores)Up to 4.2GHz (4 cores)Up to 4.2GHz (4 cores)
PCIe® Gen3 Lanes646464
DDR Channels444
ECC SupportYesYesYes
TDP180W180W180W

 

The Threadripper 1900X for Content Creators

During the launch of the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X processor in March, we were pleased to see how digital content creators (DCC) especially took to an 8-core CPU as the new normal. But we did hear feedback from some that more lanes and more memory channels would be the perfect complement to that kind of CPU. We could only smile coyly at the time, knowing that one day the Threadripper 1900X would exist to answer those needs to a T.  And here we are!

 

The Ryzen Threadripper 1900X processor represents a tip of the scales towards the DCC side, enabling new performance upside and scalability over our most powerful CPU in the mainstream AMD AM4 Platform. For example: anyone with a thirst for GPU acceleration—Blender cycles or V-Ray, anybody? —can pack up to seven PCIe x8 accelerators into the Threadripper platform! That kind of expansion just can’t be found in any other HEDT platform today.

 

See footnote #1 for complete test configuration.

 

The Threadripper 1900X for Gaming

When work is done and it’s time to play, the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1900X packs a punch in the gaming department. In fact, it’s in the ballpark with the 8-core AMD Ryzen 7 processors, which are still winning awards for their excellent gaming performance. Naturally, we still recommend an AMD Ryzen 7/5/3 processor for anyone that just wants to game, but the Threadripper 1900X comfortably holds its own when it’s time to win some chicken dinners after a hard day’s work.

 

See footnote #2 for complete test configuration.

 

The “Threadripper Experience”

At AMD, we put a lot of thought into what it means to own an ultra-high-end PC platform, and made it our mission to cram all that goodness into AMD Ryzen Threadripper processor and the AMD X399 Chipset:

 

  • Powerful multi-threaded creative performance beyond the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X
  • A fully-featured chipset (e.g. 60 usable PCIe® lanes)
  • Quad-channel DDR4 infrastructure
  • ECC memory support up to 512GB per DIMM slot
  • Smooth and comfortable gaming at the important 60/120/144Hz thresholds
  • A soldered heatspreader with an indium alloy TIM for optimal heat exchange to your cooler
  • Top-5% die selection for higher clockspeeds at lower voltages
  • Unlocked voltage and multipliers for overclocking3
  • Premium motherboards with 10-layer PCBs, robust VRMs, and extensive I/O
  • A diverse selection of coolers designed for Threadripper
  • Can we brag? Have you seen the packaging?

 

For creators who game, and gamers who create, it’s hard to do any better than that. And starting today at $549 USD SEP with the new Threadripper 1900X model, the uncompromising Threadripper platform has never been more accessible.

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


 

Footnotes:

1. Testing by AMD performance labs as of 8/22/2017. System configuration: ASUS ROG Zenith X399 (1900X), Asus Crosshair VI Hero (1800X), 4x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 14-14-14-36 (1900X), 2x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 14-14-14-36 (1800X), GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (driver 384.94), Windows® 10 RS2, AMD Ryzen™ Balanced Power Plan. Raw Scores (1900X vs. 1800X): Cinebench R15 (1743 vs. 1646), Handbrake (8m44s vs. 9m09s) lower is better, POV-Ray (3550 vs. 3404), Blender (50m vs. 49m30s) lower is better, 7-Zip (44186 vs. 43539), VeraCrypt 1GB AES (14.7 vs. 13.6), Adobe Premiere Pro CC (12m19s vs. 12m17s) lower is better. Performance may vary with latest drivers. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. RZN-75

2. Testing by AMD performance labs as of 8/22/2017. System configuration: ASUS ROG Zenith X399 (1900X), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5 (1800X), 4x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 14-14-14-36 (1900X), 2x8GB DDR4-3200 @ 14-14-14-36 (1800X), GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (driver 384.94), Windows® 10 RS2, AMD Ryzen™ Balanced Power Plan. Testing results are an average of 5 runs. Performance may vary with latest drivers. PC manufacturers may vary configurations, yielding different results. Performance may vary based on the graphics card.

3. WARNING: AMD processors, including chipsets, CPUs, APUs and GPUs (collectively and individually “AMD processor”), are intended to be operated only within their associated specifications and factory settings. Operating your AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings, including but not limited to the conducting of overclocking (including use of this overclocking software, even if such software has been directly or indirectly provided by AMD or an entity otherwise affiliated in any way with AMD), may damage your processor, affect the operation of your processor or the security features therein and/or lead to other problems, including but not limited to damage to your system components (including your motherboard and components thereon (e.g., memory)), system instabilities (e.g., data loss and corrupted images), reduction in system performance, shortened processor, system component and/or system life, and in extreme cases, total system failure. It is recommended that you save any important data before using the tool.  AMD does not provide support or service for issues or damages related to use of an AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings. You may also not receive support or service from your board or system manufacturer. Please make sure you have saved all important data before using this overclocking software. DAMAGES CAUSED BY USE OF YOUR AMD PROCESSOR OUTSIDE OF OFFICIAL AMD SPECIFICATIONS OR OUTSIDE OF FACTORY SETTINGS ARE NOT COVERED UNDER ANY AMD PRODUCT WARRANTY AND MAY NOT BE COVERED BY YOUR BOARD OR SYSTEM MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY.

When creators with the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ CPU are done designing the world around us, it’s only natural that they’d want to kick back and play some games. Today I wanted to give you a brief look at what to expect with the 2560x1440 resolution that has proven so popular in this high-end segment.

 

Testing by AMD labs as of 7/27/2017. All results an average of five runs using “high” graphics presets. System configuration: ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399 (BIOS 0303), 4x8GB DDR4-3200 (14-14-14-36), GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, Windows® 10 x64 Creator’s Update, Ryzen Balanced Performance Plan.

 

A picture says a thousand words: the Threadripper platform effortlessly transitions into making quick work of graphically demanding games. In the workloads we tested, we saw average framerates around 60, 120, and 144 FPS, depending on the title. That’s a great experience for today’s 1440p displays!

 

Seeing this level of performance on graphically challenging games makes me happy, because I know that represents plenty of horsepower for games like CS:GO and Rocket League where raw framerates are king.

 

Introducing Game Mode

Making a hugely multi-core CPU that’s ready for gaming is a challenging effort, because most PC games are designed for the typical 4-8 core processor. When greater core counts enter the picture, things can get squirrelly: poor thread scheduling can reduce performance, or (more rarely) the game may simply not run at all. The Threadripper team at AMD spent a long time thinking about how we can help our customers avoid these scenarios altogether, and we call it Game Mode.

 

Game Mode is a new feature in AMD Ryzen™ Master  that reconfigures the platform in two key ways:

  • It temporarily disables half of the CPU cores, which turns the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X into an 8C16T device (like the AMD Ryzen™ 1800X) and the 1920X into a 6C12T device (like the AMD Ryzen™ 1600X). For the truly technical, this is a 4+4 CCX configuration on one die. This ensures the game encounters the number of cores it was truly designed to handle. Please note that Game Mode does not disable SMT.
  • We tell the OS to use a Local Mode (NUMA) memory, which keeps a game and its memory footprint inside one CPU die and the locally-connected DRAM. This minimizes several key latency points in the system, which most games love.

 

Together, these changes can make a big difference for the games that weren’t designed with a beastly 12-core or 16-core processor in mind! When you’re ready for heavy threaded workloads, switching back to “Creator Mode” in AMD Ryzen Master effortlessly reverts these changes.

 

See footnote.

 

Game On

From the beginning, we envisioned the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ platform as a do-it-all powerhouse built for the enthusiasts with demanding workloads that span work and play. With the powerful “Zen” architecture, tons of compute, and AMD Ryzen Master to optimize gaming performance, we think we got the recipe right for these users. We can’t wait to see what you do with Threadripper!

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


FOOTNOTES:

Testing by AMD Performance labs as of July 22, 2017 on the following systems. PC manufacturers may vary configurations yielding different results. Results may vary based on driver versions used.

 

System Configurations: AMD Ryzen Threadripper 1950X processors on an ASUS ROG X399 Zenith Extreme motherboard. All systems equipped with 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR4-3200 RAM, Samsung 850 PRO 512GB SSD, Windows 10 RS2 operating system, Geforce TX 1080 Ti graphics adapter, Graphics driver 384.76 :: 7/22/2017.

 

The Threadripper 1950X achieved average frame rates as follows in the following games at 1080p: In Gears of War Ultimate High (DX12), an average frame rate of 104.8 in default UMA mode and 121.11 in Legacy Game Mode, resulting in an improvement of (121.11/104.8=1.14 or 14%) in legacy game mode; In Fallout 4 (Ultra), an average frame rate of 60.08 in default UMA mode and 72.29 in Legacy Game Mode, resulting in an improvement of (72.29/60.08=1.17 or 17%) in legacy game mode; In Hitman Absolution (Ultra), an average frame rate of 76.54 in default UMA mode and 84.92 in Legacy Game Mode, resulting in an improvement of (84.92/76.54=1.10 or 10%) in legacy game mode.  In Call of Duty: Modern Warfare an average frame rate of 91.27 in default UMA mode and 146.25 in Legacy Game Mode, resulting in an improvement of (91.27/146.25=1.38 or 38%) in legacy game mode.

 

On average, with a sampling of over 60 actual games and settings as detailed in 1950X_LGM_vs_Mission.xlxs, performance uplift with Legacy Game Mode enabled is about 5% over Creator Mode. RZN-70

When I was a young lad, the first PC I ever built with my own money used the sensational 1GHz “Thunderbird” AMD Athlon™, ASUS A7V motherboard, and a GeForce 2 GTS. It was funded with my little paper route delivering the Tribune newspaper in Royal Oak, MI. My family had played PC games since the 486 era, but that system felt like an ascension to something truly special. Through it, I fell in love with the hardware, rather than just using the hardware. Ten years later, chance would have it that I’d come full circle to begin work at AMD.

 

I’ve been a PC enthusiast for a long time, and there are few things I love more than a great new piece of hardware that stands heads and shoulders above its peers. I think most enthusiasts know that feeling. There’s just something exciting about looking at “the best,” plus it’s fun to marvel at a giant leap forward within one generation of hardware. And though I am certainly biased, that’s how I feel about the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ platform with the new AMD X399 chipset.

 

The exhaustiveness of it all just makes me giddy:

  • 64 PCI Express® lanes
  • Quad-channel DDR4
  • Up to 2 native USB 3.1 Gen2 ports
  • Up to 14 USB 3.1 Gen1 ports
  • Up to 6 USB 2.0 ports
  • Up to 16 SATA ports

 

That is a lot of connectivity. In fact, it’s enough for me to comfortably run quad GPU, 3TB of NVMe storage, every USB device in my house, every SATA drive I’ve ever owned… and still have room to spare.

 

ASRock X399 MotherboardASUS MotherboardGigabyte X399 Motherboard ImageMSI X399 Motherboard

ASRock X399 Taichi

ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme

GIGABYTE X399 AORUS Gaming 7

MSI X399 Gaming Pro Carbon AC

 

Motherboards with the AMD X399 chipset are just beautiful, too: premium materials, great cooling, nice layouts, high-end controllers, LED readouts, exhaustive BIOSes, and lots of headers for fans and RGB. Precisely what I want out of a motherboard!

 

And unlike the other guy, the AMD X399 doesn’t have a confusing matrix of lanes, ports, and memory channels that go dark if you buy the wrong CPU. You always get the same connectivity with AMD X399, regardless of what Threadripper CPU you buy. That’s what enthusiasts deserve when committing to an HEDT platform.

 

There are often times in this industry when “best” is a nebulous decision filled with what-ifs and “well, it depends.” It sure didn’t feel that way with my “Thunderbird” Athlon, and it’s hard not to feel the same way about X399 today. When it comes to ultimate PC platforms, nothing else comes close.

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Proverb: “Time is money.”

 

Few know this more acutely than the creator, whose compile or render times could take hours, days… or even weeks. Every minute spent watching a progress bar is another minute—another dollar—squandered. 3D artists, video editors, and software developers know this problem especially well. But those creators also know that a powerful CPU can claw back those precious minutes to get things done. And when it comes to chips that laugh in the face of sluggish progress bars, the AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processor is the definitive choice.

 

 


See footnote for raw scores and system configuration.

 

And there’s the picture to prove it. If your job or hobby depends on creative workloads like physically-based rendering, raytracing, or video editing, then a Threadripper CPU is easily your best defense against the pokey progress bars that cost you time and money.

 

It’s that simple.

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


 

Footnote:

Testing conducted by AMD performance labs as of 7/31/2017. System configurations: 4x8GB DDR4-3200 (14-14-14-36), ASUS ROG Zenith Extreme X399 (AMD), ASUS ROG STRIX X299-E (Intel), GeForce GTX 1080 Ti (driver 385.12), Thermaltake Water 3.0 Riing RGB 280, Windows® 10 x64 Creator’s Update. Raw scores (7900X vs. 1920X vs. 1950X): POV-Ray [4565,4845,5971]; Adobe Premiere Pro CC [9m06s,9m34s,7m48s] with 4K60 to YouTube 2160p preset (lower is better); Handbrake [6m55s,6m35s,5m43s] with 4K30 to 1080p AppleTV3 preset (lower is better); 7-Zip [57893,59899,73444]; VeraCrypt 50MB AES [15.6,18.5,24.2]; Corona Photorealism [90 sec,89 sec,71 sec] (lower is better). All tests an average of five runs.

Hey, everyone! Preorders for the crazy powerful AMD Ryzen™ Threadripper™ processors went live on July 31, and those with a CPU on the way may be wondering what cooler to buy for the 4094-pin sTR4 socket on the AMD X399 motherboards. Well, my friends, wonder no longer!

 

It's super simple: included with every AMD Ryzen Threadripper CPU is a free mounting bracket that enables compatibility with a wide range of premium closed-loop liquid cooling (CLC) solutions. These beautiful CLCs will keep your new Threadripper chip nice and chilly, and we maintain a list of over 20 solutions that are compatible with the included bracket. We'll be updating the list regularly for you!

 

There are also cooling solutions on the way that do not use AMD's provided bracket, and those will be added to the official list over time as well. Before purchasing such a solution, verify with the manufacturer or retailer that the cooler includes out-of-box sTR4 support. Some coolers pre-date the Ryzen Threadripper CPU, and are receiving mid-production updates after a certain date to include the compatible mounting hardware.

 


 

UPDATE NOTICE: The contents of this blog update have been migrated to the official Threadripper thermal solutions page on AMD.com at 3:47 PM Central on 2 August, 2017.

The release of AGESA 1.0.0.6 to mobo makers has resulted in a wave of fresh BIOS updates, each one packed with tons of new options for tweaking and overclocking memory.1 With so many options at your disposal, some have understandably asked: “what are the optimal settings for games?” Never one to leave an overclocking question unanswered, our illustrious overclocker Sami Makinen took his ASUS Crosshair VI and AMD Ryzen™ 1700 CPU for a spin to find the fastest combination of settings in a few different tests.2

 

Before we dig into the data, here’s what we analyzed:

  • The impact of the new BankGroupSwap (BGS) BIOS option
  • Single-rank DIMMs vs. dual-rank DIMMs
  • Automatic sub-timings vs. manually-tweaked subtimings
  • Max frequency vs. lower frequency at tighter timings
  • Geardown Mode (GDM) on vs. off

 

Digging into geardown mode

 

Let’s start with the impact of Geardown Mode (GDM), as it’s easy to address.

 

GDM is enabled by default for memory speeds greater than DDR4-2667 per the DDR4 spec. GDM allows the RAM to use a clock that’s one half the true DRAM frequency for the purposes of latching (storing a value) on the memory’s command or address buses. This conservative latching can potentially allow for higher clockspeeds, broader compatibility, and better stability—good for the average user.

 

But what about overclockers?1 For overclockers, Geardown Mode will be noteworthy because it also tells the memory subsystem to "disregard" the command rate set in the BIOS. As 1T command rates can be beneficial (though tough to maintain) for performance, the chart below is really asking whether it’s useful to run GDM if the desired memory clockspeed can be achieved.  Spoiler alert: probably not.

 

 

Our data points indicate that Geardown Mode should be disabled for gaming if you can achieve your desired memory overclock with a 1T command rate. The opposite holds true if 1T CR proves too aggressive to reach your desired clockspeed--leaving Geardown Mode enabled may get you there. Finally, when it comes to GDM vs. 2T CR (not shown), specific memory throughput testing should be conducted as the balance of power will come down to your other memory timings.

 

BankGroupSwap

 

BankGroupSwap (BGS) is a new memory mapping option in AGESA 1.0.0.6 that alters how applications get assigned to physical locations within the memory modules; the goal of this knob is to optimize how memory requests are executed after taking DRAM architecture and your memory timings into account. The theory goes that toggling this setting can shift the balance of performance in favor of either games or synthetic apps.

 

Our data seems to bear this out: our games got a little faster with BGS off, while AIDA64 memory bandwidth was higher with BGS ON.

 

 

 

Single rank vs. dual rank DIMMs

 

In the BankGroupSwap section, we alluded to “single rank” memory modules; that may have left some people scratching their head. That’s not surprising: memory ranks are largely unknown, not to mention cryptic. Starting from the top, PC enthusiasts know that a stick of memory is a circuit board with various memory chips attached. But have you ever thought about how a PC talks to those memory chips? That’s where ranks come in.

 

A “rank” is a group of memory chips that receive read and write commands as a group. Some memory sticks have all of their memory chips in one group, and those are single rank (SR) DIMMs. Other memory sticks split their memory chips into two groups, and those are called dual rank (DR) DIMMs.

 

DR modules can often be a smidge faster thanks to a capability called “rank interleaving,” wherein the second memory rank can still perform work while the first is being refreshed for use. However, DR modules are often harder for a system to drive to high frequency, which is why most high-performance memory kits use multiple 4GB or 8GB SR memory sticks. The extra frequency achievable by the SR memory modules is often enough to overcome the small performance benefit of DR DIMMs, too.

 

You can often tell single and dual rank memory apart by looking at the product code, which might say 1Rx4 or 1Rx8 for single rank, or 2Rx4 or 2Rx8 for dual rank. And though you should always verify with spec sheet, it’s a decent shortcut to assume an 8GB DDR4 DIMM is single rank, whereas a 16GB DIMM is almost certainly dual rank.

 

As we finally come to the data, our results lend credence that—all things being equal—DR memory configurations are a touch faster than SR configs for the purposes of PC gaming. But all things aren’t equal when it comes to overclocking memory, and we’ll explore that in the conclusion.

 

 

Automatic timings vs. manual tuning

 

Every overclocker knows that memory runs on “timings,” which are various wait periods PC memory must make as it completes a full cycle of reading or writing data. Lowering the timing values (making them more aggressive) can yield better performance by shrinking the wait periods. However, timings that are too aggressive can easily lead to instability and memory corruption as the memory struggles to accurately read and write its own data.

 

Motherboards generally take on all the heavy lifting of setting the complicated list of memory timings through mechanisms like SPD and XMP. These timings are configured to balance the fussy triangle of performance, compatibility, and stability. But was there something being left on the table? Sami intervened to find out, and his results couldn’t be clearer: overclockers with the wherewithal to hand-tune their memory timings can extract notably better performance in the PC games we looked at. Some games might be less sensitive to memory timings, but these tasks seem to love it.

 


Full timings for DDR4-3200 “maxed”: tCL = 12, tRCDW/R = 12, tRP = 12, tRAS = 28, tRC = 54, tWR = 12, tWCL = 9, tRFC = 224, tRTP = 8, tRDRDSCL = 2, tWRWRSCL = 2, ProcODT = 60Ω.

 

The ancient debate: frequency or timings?

 

Last, but not least, Sami set out to find whether it was tighter timings or higher clockspeeds that mattered most on the AMD Ryzen™ processor. Sami pushed this combination of hardware up to DDR4-3520, DDR4-3466 with tighter timings, and DDR4-3200 with the tightest timings that could be achieved while maintaining stability with Memtest.

 

The verdict: tighter timings won. DDR4-3200 with aggressive timing adjustments outperformed the looser timings needed to hit DDR4-3520, while 3466 clearly split the difference with the right balance of timings and frequency.

 


DDR4-3200 “maxed” settings: tCL =12, tRCDW/R = 12, tRP = 12, tRAS = 28, tRC = 54, tWR = 12, tWCL = 9, tRFC = 224, tRTP = 8, tRDRDSCL = 2, tWRWRSCL = 2, ProcODT = 60Ω. DDR4-3466 “tuned” settings: tCL = 14, tRCDR/W = 14, tRP = 14, tRAS = 28, ProcODT = 60Ω, CR = 1T, GDM = Disabled, BGS = Disabled. DDR4-3520 “tuned” settings: tCL = 14, tRCDW/R = 14, tRP = 14, tRAS = 30, tRC = 56, tWR = 14, tWCL = 12, tRFC = 312, ProcODT = 53.3Ω.

 

Putting it all together

 

Now that we’ve picked through the data in isolation, we thought it would prove useful to take a mile-high view and draw some conclusions about what we found from our data set, and how that might impact gaming on the AMD AM4 platform.

 


DDR4-3200 “maxed” settings: tCL =12, tRCDW/R = 12, tRP = 12, tRAS = 28, tRC = 54, tWR = 12, tWCL = 9, tRFC = 224, tRTP = 8, tRDRDSCL = 2, tWRWRSCL = 2, ProcODT = 60Ω. DDR4-3466 “tuned” settings: tCL = 14, tRCDR/W = 14, tRP = 14, tRAS = 28, ProcODT = 60Ω, CR = 1T, GDM = Disabled, BGS = Disabled. DDR4-3520 “tuned” settings: tCL = 14, tRCDW/R = 14, tRP = 14, tRAS = 30, tRC = 56, tWR = 14, tWCL = 12, tRFC = 312, ProcODT = 53.3Ω.

 

  • Conclusion #1: Dual rank DIMMs (yellow) offered the best performance amongst “set and forget” (light blue, orange, yellow) memory configured automatically by XMP profiles.
  • Conclusion #1a: But the increased overclocking headroom of single rank modules was more than enough to overpower the benefits of rank interleaving, so manually-tuned single rank DDR4-3200 and 3466 won the day (dark blue and green).
  • Conclusion #2: BankGroupSwap should likely be disabled for users that want the best PC gaming performance. As always, test your specific use case.
  • Conclusion #3: Chasing the highest possible clockspeed required timings so relaxed that real world performance suffered versus lower frequencies with tighter timings. This is a fine balance, however, so testing on your platform is always helpful.
  • Conclusion #4: Geardown Mode should likely be disabled if your overclock is stable with a 1T command rate. As always, test your specific use case.

 

We hope these insights prove useful, and we’re looking forward to your feedback. Chat with us on Twitter @AMDRyzen or leave a comment.

As we swing into the summer months, the steady stream of application updates for the AMD Ryzen™ processor continue to flow in. This month we’re turning our attention to Rise of the Tomb Raider™ and Pixologic ZBrush, which now integrate major performance updates in public builds.

 

Rise of the Tomb Raider Performance Patch

Rise of the Tomb Raider has risen to both critical acclaim and widespread use in benchmark suites on the back of its excellent gameplay and beautiful graphics. Starting in version 770.1 of the game (now on Steam™), those beautiful graphics are now a whole lot faster for AMD customers!

 

Below, we’ve plotted the performance for Rise of the Tomb Raider before and after the patch in 1080p resolution with the medium and high presets applied. We chose the medium preset to minimize the influence of the GPU, but even the more GPU-bound “high” preset yields a healthy uplift.

 


Testing conducted as of 6/6/2017. System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-3200 (14-14-14-36), GeForce GTX 1080 (382.33 driver), Asus Crosshair VI (BIOS 9943), Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution.

 

With an impressive performance gain of ~28% across the medium and high presets, we chatted with Rise of the Tomb Raider developer Crystal Dynamics for insight into what was changed. Here’s what they had to say:

 

“Rise of the Tomb Raider splits rendering tasks to run on different threads,” Crystal Dynamics said. “By tuning the size of those tasks – breaking some up, allowing multicore CPUs to contribute in more cases, and combining some others, to reduce overheads in the scheduler – the game can more efficiently exploit extra threads on the host CPU.”

 

Another win for the powerful multi-threading capabilities of the Ryzen™ processor!

 

With that in the bag, Crystal Dynamics also found a way to reduce GPU driver overhead, saying: “An optimization was identified in texture management that improves the combination of AMD CPU and NVIDIA GPU.  Overhead was reduced by packing texture descriptor uploads into larger chunks.”

 

If you’re interested in testing for yourself, it’s easy to test pre-patch performance by popping open the betas tab and rolling back to v767.2.

 

 

 

Pixologic ZBrush Update

And for the creators amongst us, the latest version of ZBrush (4R8) offers a substantial performance update related to placing lights in the real-time viewport. Hold on tight, because this one is a doozy.

Testing conducted as of 6/6/2017. System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2400 (17-17-17-39), GeForce GTX 1080 (382.05 driver), AMD Ryzen™ Reference Motherboard, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution.

 

Yes, my friends, our test results show that it is now a stunning 204,772% faster to throw down a light source in ZBrush version 4R8 with the AMD Ryzen™ processor. This routine operation has shrunk from an agonizing 22.5 seconds to a blistering 11 milliseconds.

 

Users will also find that basic UI operations, such as the accessing the “Draw” and “Light” menus, are altogether snappier.

 

Until next time

What are you interested in hearing more about in our next AMD Ryzen Community Update? Let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen!

 



Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Welcome to the fourth installment of the Ryzen Community Updates! If you’re checking into this series for the first time, this is where we let our community know about all the exciting updates that are on their way for the AMD Ryzen™ processor. We’ve covered a lot of ground in a short amount of time: game updates, new Windows® power plans, stability improvements, feature additions and much more. Today’s update is the one many of you have been most excited about: the AGESA that focuses on overclocked memory. There’s some great news for IOMMU/ACS users, too!

 

What is an “AGESA”?

AGESA is an acronym that stands for “AMD Generic Encapsulated System Architecture.” As a brief primer, the AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a “nucleus” for the BIOS for your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the core capabilities of our AGESA updates and build on them with their own “secret sauce” to create the BIOS files you download and flash. Today, the BIOS files for AMD AM4 motherboards are largely based on AGESA version 1.0.0.4.

 

Beginning this month, as we promised to you, we began beta testing a new AGESA (v1.0.0.6) that is largely focused on aiding the stability of overclocked DRAM (>DDR4-2667). We are now at the point where that testing can begin transitioning into release candidate and/or production BIOSes for you to download. Depending on the QA/testing practices of your motherboard vendor, full BIOSes based on this code could be available for your motherboard starting in mid to late June. Some customers may already be in luck, however, as there are motherboards—like my Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5 and ASUS Crosshair VI—that already have public betas.

 

Starting With Virtualization

If you’re the kind of user that just needs (or loves!) virtualization every day, then AGESA 1.0.0.6-based firmware will be a blessing for you thanks to fresh support for PCI Express® Access Control Services (ACS). ACS primarily enables support for manual assignment of PCIe® graphics cards within logical containers called “IOMMU groups.”  The hardware resources of an IOMMU group can then be dedicated to a virtual machine.

 

This capability is especially useful for users that want 3D-accelerated graphics inside a virtual machine. With ACS support, it is possible to split a 2-GPU system such that a host Linux® OS and a Windows VM both have a dedicated graphics cards. The virtual machine can access all the capabilities of the dedicated GPU, and run games inside the virtual machine at near-native performance.

 

This is certainly a complicated setup for most users, but I have no doubt that there will be a whole lot of you enthusiastically nodding at this news. We’re grateful for your feedback and your patience, and we hope the new support for ACS serves you well.

 

What's Next For Memory

AGESA 1.0.0.6 officially adds 26 new parameters that can improve the compatibility and reliability of DRAM, especially for memory that does not follow the industry-standard JEDEC specifications (e.g. faster than 2667, manual overclocking, or XMP2 profiles).

 

The following table spells out all the new parameters, and provides a few words on what they do. Keeping in mind that this is overclocking territory, manual or automated control of these parameters should nevertheless make it a little more straightforward to use DDR4-3200 modules—or faster if you have the talent!1


ParameterFunctionValues
Memory clocksAdded dividers for memory clocks up to DDR4-4000 without refclk adjustment. Please note that values greater than DDR4-2667 is overclocking. Your mileage may vary (as noted by our big overclocking warning at the end of this blog).133.33MT/s intervals (2667, 2933, 3067, 3200, 3333, 3466, 3600, 3733, 3866, 4000)
Command rate (CR)The amount of time, in cycles, between when a DRAM chip is selected and a command is executed. 2T CR can be very beneficial for stability with high memory clocks, or for 4-DIMM configurations.2T, 1T
ProcODT (CPU on-die termination)A resistance value, in ohms, that determines how a completed memory signal is terminated. Higher values can help stabilize higher data rates. Values in the range of 60-96 can prove helpful.Integer values (ohms)
tWCL/tWL/tCWLCAS Write Latency, or the amount of time it takes to write to the open memory bank. WCL is generally configured equal to CAS or CAS-1. This can be a significant timing for stability, and lower values often prove better.Integer values (cycles)
tRCRow cycle time, or the number of clock cycles required for a memory row to complete a full operational cycle. Lower values can notably improve performance, but should not be set lower than tRP+tRAS for stability reasons.Integer values (cycles)
tFAWFour activation window, or the time that must elapse before new memory banks can be activated after four ACTIVATE commands have been issued. Configured to a minumum 4x tRRD_S, but values >8x tRRD_S are often used for stability.Integer values (ns)
tWRWrite recovery time, or the time that must elapse between a valid write operation and the precharging of another bank. Higher values are often beneficial for stability, and values < 8 can quickly corrupt data stored in RAM.Integer values (ns)
CLDO_VDDP

Voltage for the DDR4 PHY on the SoC. Somewhat counterintuitively, lowering VDDP can often be more beneficial for stability than raising CLDO_VDDP. Advanced overclockers should also know that altering CLDO_VDDP can move or resolve memory holes. Small changes to VDDP can have a big effect, and VDDP cannot not be set to a value greater than VDIMM-0.1V (not to exceed 1.05V). A cold reboot is required if you alter this voltage.

 

Sidenote: pre-1.0.0.6 BIOSes may also have an entry labeled “VDDP” that alters the external voltage level sent to the CPU VDDP pins. This is not the same parameter as CLDO_VDDP in AGESA 1.0.0.6.

Integer values (V)
tRDWR / tWRRDRead-to-write and write-to-read latency, or the time that must elapse between issuing sequential read/write or write/read commands.Integer values (cycles)
tRDRD / tWRWRRead-to-read and write-to-write latency, or the time between sequential read or write requests (e.g. DIMM-to-DIMM, or across ranks). Lower values can significantly improve DRAM throughput, but high memory clocks often demand relaxed timings.Integer values (cycles)
Geardown ModeAllows the DRAM device to run off its internally-generated ½ rate clock for latching on the command or address buses. ON is the default for speeds greater than DDR4-2667, however the benefit of ON vs. OFF will vary from memory kit to memory kit. Enabling Geardown Mode will override your current command rate.On/Off
RttControls the performance of DRAM internal termination resistors during nominal, write, and park states.Nom(inal), WR(ite), and Park integers (ohms)
tMAWMaximum activation window, or the maximum number of times a DRAM row can be activated before adjacent memory rows must be refreshed to preserve data.Integer values (cycles)
tMACMaximum activate count, or the number of times a row is activated by the system before adjacent row refresh. Must be equal to or less than tMAW.Integer values (cycles)
tRFCRefresh cycle time, or the time it takes for the memory to read and re-write information to the same DRAM cell for the purposes of preserving information. This is typically a timing automatically derived from other values.Integer values (cycles)
tRFC2Refresh cycle time for double frequency (2x) mode.  This is typically a timing automatically derived from other values.Integer values (cycles)
tRFC4Refresh cycle time for quad frequency (4x) mode. This is typically a timing automatically derived from other values.Integer values (cycles)
tRRD_SActivate to activate delay (short), or the number of clock cycles between activate commands in a different bank group.Integer values (cycles)
tRRD_LActivate to activate delay (long), or the number of clock cycles between activate commands in the same bank group.Integer values (cycles)
tWRWrite recovery time, or the time that must elapse between a valid write operation and the precharging of another bank. Higher values are often better for stability.Integer values (ns)
tWTR_SWrite to read delay (short), or the time between a write transaction and read command on a different bank group.Integer values (cycles)
tWTR_LWrite to read delay (long), or the time between a write transaction and read command on the same bank group.Integer values (cycles)
tRTPRead to precharge time, or the number of clock cycles between a READ command to a row and a precharge command to the same rank.Integer values (cycles)
DRAM Power DownCan modestly save system power, at the expense of higher DRAM latency, by putting DRAM into a quiescent state after a period of inactivity.On/Off

 

Until next time

What are you interested in hearing more about in our next AMD Ryzen Community Update? Let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen!

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


1. WARNING: Overclocking memory will void any applicable AMD product warranty, even if such overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware and/or software.  This may also void warranties offered by the system manufacturer or retailer or motherboard vendor.  Users assume all risks and liabilities that may arise out of overclocking memory, including, without limitation, failure of or damage to RAM/hardware, reduced system performance and/or data loss, corruption or vulnerability.  GD-112

After fleshing out an impressive selection of nearly 100 ATX and mATX AM4 motherboards, our motherboard partners have started to turn their attention to more specialized small-batch designs like the mini-ITX form factor. Prized for its “power-to-weight” ratio, the diminutive mITX form factor—just 170x170mm—can pack a lot of hardware into systems not much larger than a shoebox. That’s tantalizing potential for gamers like Darrell, who just put the finishing touches on a hot new ITX rig built around the flagship AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X processor.

 

AMD: Tell us a little bit about yourself!
Darrell: Hey, I’m Darrell! I live in Portland, Oregon and I've always had a passion for technology. I'm currently working as a network and systems engineer. I've been building custom PC's for the last 10 years, and I’ve recently spent more time dedicated to the building process.

 

AMD: Every good PC needs some good games. What are you into right now?
Darrell: I love love LOVE my HTC VIVE. VR changes everything. Tilt Brush, Space Pirate Trainer and SUPERHOT are great in VR! Outside of VR, I also enjoy some old school Runescape, Hearthstone, GTA V, Doom, Path of Exile and some Overwatch.

 

AMD: I understand you’re running an ITX system with Ryzen now. Give us the specs!
Darrell: That’s right! I built a blue AMD PC. It’s a little unorthodox, but it has a peaceful “Zen” feel to it. It’s packing a Ryzen 7 1800X overclocked to 4GHz, Biostar X370GTN ITX mobo, 32GB DDR4-2933, 1TB Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD, a Corsair SF600 SFX power supply, and a Radeon R9 Nano overclocked to 1.1GHz. I built the system into an NCASE M1, and then watercooled it. Most of the watercooling components are made by EKWB and Bitspower. There’s more work to do, but I really enjoyed building it!

 

AMD: You recently switched to AMD, is that right? What convinced you?

Darrell: Yes, that’s right. I’ve been following Ryzen since it was announced, and when I learned the price for what this chip offers, I knew I had to have it. I upgraded from a Core i7-6700K. That’s a pretty high-end processor, but it didn’t do everything I needed it to. The 16 threads on my 1800X gives me peace of mind—I know that I won’t experience a bottleneck while streaming or working on other things while gaming.

 

AMD: Since you just switched to AMD, is there anything you found surprising/interesting/different?

Darrell: I’ve always been a fan of AMD GPUs, but this is my first AMD processor. I am extremely impressed by how much community outreach AMD has compared to the other guy. I feel as if I am part of a helpful community. I never got that from my 6700K.

 

AMD: Has Ryzen’s performance surprised you on any workloads?

Darrell: Yes, actually. In my line of work, I need to run multiple [virtual machines] alongside some compute-intensive workloads. I know my 1800X is significantly faster than any quad core CPU for this kind of work. I’ve especially noticed huge gains in x264 encoding while streaming and recording my gameplay. File decompression is noticeably faster, too.

 

AMD: Why was the ITX form factor so important to you?

Darrell: I need small form factor. I cannot even envision building a large PC. Living in Portland, I attend PDXLAN as often as possible. It’s so convenient to have a desktop’s worth of performance in a system that’s easy to carry around. And since I’m limited to this form factor, I take it as a challenge to put the most powerful components I can find into the system.

 

AMD: When choosing an ITX board, what features do you look for?

Darrell: I want at least six USB ports and an S/PDIF connector for my DAC/Amp. I also look for smart placement for front panel, power, and fan connectors so it’s easier to install a water cooling loop. Depending on my use case, I also look for robust power phases to support overclocking.

 

AMD: And what do you think about the BIOSTAR X370GTN?

Darrell: I’m pleasantly surprised. I purchased the X370GTN due it being the first ITX board to market. It’s impressive that this little brand can push out such an anticipated design ahead of the major motherboard makers. I had initially planned to upgrade to a different ITX board later on, but now I’m not so sure. This little thing works really well.

 


 

Wrap-up

With ITX motherboards like the BIOSTAR X370GTN now for sale for around $110 USD, the enthusiast’s dream of serious multi-core CPU performance in a tiny box is quickly becoming a reality. And we’re only just getting started: more ITX designs for the AMD Ryzen™ processor are on the way over the summer!

 

Special thanks to Darrell for taking some time out of his day to chat with us about his new build. You can see more of his rig in his Reddit posts on /r/AMD and on /r/Watercooling. And if you’ve built your own ITX Ryzen rig, share it with us on Twitter @AMDRyzen. We’ll occasionally feature the most incredible builds right here on the AMD community blog.

 

Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 


 

VIVE is a trademark of HTC Corporation in the United States and other jurisdictions. No endorsement is implied.

 

WARNING: AMD processors, including chipsets, CPUs, APUs and GPUs (collectively and individually “AMD processor”), are intended to be operated only within their associated specifications and factory settings. Operating your AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings, including but not limited to the conducting of overclocking (including use of this overclocking software, even if such software has been directly or indirectly provided by AMD or an entity otherwise affiliated in any way with AMD), may damage your processor, affect the operation of your processor or the security features therein and/or lead to other problems, including but not limited to damage to your system components (including your motherboard and components thereon (e.g., memory)), system instabilities (e.g., data loss and corrupted images), reduction in system performance, shortened processor, system component and/or system life, and in extreme cases, total system failure. It is recommended that you save any important data before using the tool.  AMD does not provide support or service for issues or damages related to use of an AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings. You may also not receive support or service from your board or system manufacturer. Please make sure you have saved all important data before using this overclocking software. DAMAGES CAUSED BY USE OF YOUR AMD PROCESSOR OUTSIDE OF OFFICIAL AMD SPECIFICATIONS OR OUTSIDE OF FACTORY SETTINGS ARE NOT COVERED UNDER ANY AMD PRODUCT WARRANTY AND MAY NOT BE COVERED BY YOUR BOARD OR SYSTEM MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY.

It’s been about a month since the AMD Ryzen™ 5 processors launched, and we’re celebrating that anniversary with a brief little roundup of the greatest things said about these award-winning chips.

 

A little bit about Ryzen 5

Let’s face it: almost all of us multi-task while gaming. Browsing Reddit is just too interesting. There’s 10 seconds of downtime you can fill with dank memes and cute cats! You might even have more than one monitor on your desk to feed this appetite… some of your friends probably ask you what you do with all of those monitors. It’s hard to explain. They don’t understand.

 

But you know that multi-tasking life! And that brings us to today’s topic: with six cores and 12 threads, or four cores and eight threads, Ryzen 5 processors are fantastic gaming CPUs with a little extra “oomph” on the side for all those times you need to do anything beyond gaming.

 

Those core and thread counts just aren’t offered by any other CPUs at the same prices, so the benefit to you is simple: great performance in creative apps; beastly game streaming; scalability for DirectX® 12 and Vulkan®; and threads to spare when you inevitably fire up a movie, browse the web, and hang out on Discord alongside your game.

 

Even if you’re just going to sit down and game, because you have the superhuman focus that I do not, the Ryzen 5 CPUs are more than ready for the challenge:


Testing by AMD Performance Analysis Labs as of 4/24/2017. All games evaluated at 1920x1080 with the “High” in-game preset. System config: ASRock AB350 Gaming K4 (AMD), ASRock B250 Gaming M3 (Intel), GeForce GTX 1080 (21.21.13.7878 driver), Windows® 10 x64 (Build 1607), 16GB DDR4-2933 (16-16-16-36).

 

You don’t have to take our word for it

As independent reviewers dug into the Ryzen 5 lineup, I think it would be fair to say that they were impressed with everything these affordable processors can offer.

  • Proving that extra cores and threads make a difference, TechRadar said: “The extra processing power of the Ryzen 5 1600X puts Intel’s processors to shame, including both its closest competitor and a much higher-spec Broadwell-E part.”
  • Asserting that Ryzen 5 is the definitive midrange CPU, PC World wrote: “[…] Ryzen 5 is the way to go. It burns Core i5 to the ground in multi-threaded applications performance and doesn’t give up much in single-threaded performance.”
  • Noting that the extra cores and threads are great for gaming and creating, CG Magazine wrote: “the Ryzen 5 1600X is releasing as one of the best CPU’s to cater to both gamers and content creators alike.”
  • Speaking directly to creators who deserve an affordable option, Digital Trends said: “Whether you’re encoding video, streaming and recording while gaming, or compressing and uncompressing large files, you’ll see a benefit from the extra cores…”

 

Now that you know a little more about how beloved these fantastic chips really are, perhaps your curiosity is piqued. Maybe your credit card has even started to tingle a little (mine did). “But Robert,” you ask with skeptical eyes, “how much will all this performance cost me?”

 

Not much! AMD Ryzen 5 processors are now available from your favorite online retailers starting at around $169 US for the 8-thread 1400 model and $219 for the 12-thread 1600 model.1 Though you can buy any AM4 motherboard you like, boards based on the AMD B350 chipset are a great option starting around $80 US.2

 

And if you still need a little more help: let Paul’s Hardware guide the way with this awesome $1000 AMD Ryzen 5 PC!

 

 

 


Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his/her own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

1. AMD suggested electronic retailer pricing as of April 31, 2017.

2. Prices from Newegg.com as of April 31, 2017.

Hi, everyone! Starting this week, AMD Ryzen™ customers can download a new version of the AMD Ryzen Chipset Drivers (version 17.10).

 

This release is primarily intended to make good on our promise to include the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan in the chipset driver package. The 17.10 (or later) driver release will automatically install and activate the AMD Ryzen Balanced as a fourth power plan (shown below). This driver package is exclusively designed for systems with Windows 10 x64 and the AMD Ryzen CPU.

 

 

What does this power plan do?

The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan allows your AMD Ryzen processor to more quickly raise clockspeeds. The plan also prevents your CPU cores from being "parked," an idle state that can negatively impact the performance of many (but not all) games. If you're interested in additional details, our original blog on the topic has lots more to offer.

 

In parallel, you should also pay a visit to LegitReviews' testing on the AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan. Nathan Kirsch noted "6-7 percent performance gains when gaming at both 1080P and 1440P screen resolutions" in a couple games, plus lots of test results for you to pore over. Thanks, Nate!


Until next time

As always, we sincerely appreciate the time you took to test the standalone plan and provide feedback on installation and usage. With your help, our final build should gracefully install for any user that previously installed (or attempted to install) the standalone plan.

Hey, Ryzen fans! Today we’re back with our third community update, once again focusing on several key topics you asked us to look at: power plans, game performance updates, and temperature monitoring software!

 

Balanced power plan optimized for AMD Ryzen™ processors


4/26/2017 Update:
The AMD Ryzen Balanced Power Plan is now included in the official AMD chipset drivers starting with version 17.10! Simply download and install the latest chipset driver package, and the new plan will be automatically configured for you. Windows 10 64-bit is required.

 

Throughout the launch of the AMD Ryzen™ processor, AMD has been clear that desktop PC customers should choose the “High Performance” power plan in Windows® 10. The reason is clear: testing conducted by AMD, and independent reviewers (e.g. Hardware.fr and Computerbase), have concluded that the High Performance power plan offers appreciable performance benefits to our customers. But the out-of-the-box power plan for Windows 10 is “Balanced,” so the community challenged us to find a compromise. We took that challenge seriously, committed to finding a solution by the first week of April, and today we believe we have the answer.

 

A little background is needed

AMD Ryzen processors feature AMD SenseMI technology, a sophisticated package of sensing and adapting features that (amongst other capabilities) allow the underlying microarchitecture to rapidly execute fine adjustments to voltage and frequency for peak performance. These changes can occur as quickly as 1 millisecond on an AMD Ryzen CPU. However, this intended functionality depends on the integrated power management in Ryzen being in absolute control. After all, nothing knows the hardware better than the hardware itself!

 

Transitions between frequencies and voltages are governed by “P-States.” P-states are frequency/voltage combinations requested by the operating system. Processors receive these requests all the time, and act on them by selecting matching states built into the hardware.

 

The Windows-default Balanced plan, in the interest of balancing power and performance, sets higher thresholds and longer timers for transitions into faster P-states than the High Performance plan. This can sometimes limit how quickly our processor responds to “go faster” promptings from high-demand applications.

 

Secondly, the default Balanced plan attempts to park all logical processors beyond the first 10% whenever possible. On an 8C16T AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, for example, logical processor 0 (physical core) and logical processor 1 (SMT core) stay awake, while the remaining 14 logical processors can be parked at any time. Resuming from a parked state has a latency cost that can affect performance, too.

 

The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan

Because of these findings, the new AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan reduces the timers and thresholds for P-state transitions to improve clockspeed ramping. This lets the hardware take full control more often. We’ve also disabled core parking for more wakeful cores. As you can see in the chart below, the performance gains can be substantial—on par with the High Performance plan, in fact!

 


Testing conducted as of April 4, 2017. System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X, Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, 2x8GB DDR4-2933, GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Windows 10 x64 (build 1607).

 

Other games that we’ve seen benefit from the new plan include: Total War™: WARHAMMER, Alien: Isolation™, Crysis™ 3, Gears of War™ 4, Battlefield™ 4, Project Cars™ and more. Though not every game behaves in a way where a change in power plans has an impact on the AMD Ryzen™ processor, we’ve long maintained that there are enough games to warrant a change. Today’s findings put a fine point on that, and we’re very excited to get these changes into the hands of our customers starting today!

 

Installation is simple: just install the latest AMD chipset drivers for Windows 10 64-bit!

 

 

After collecting feedback from this community preview, we intend to roll the final power plan into the AMD Chipset drivers for AMD Ryzen processors. The Ryzen Balanced plan will automatically be configured as the default power plan for Ryzen-based Windows 10 PCs. If you’ve already downloaded and installed our new power plan from this blog, the new chipset driver package will ensure you do not encounter duplicate entries.

 

Update @ 4/26/2017: The AMD Ryzen Balanced Power Plan is now included in the AMD Chipset Driver package starting with version 17.10. Simply download and install the bundle on Windows 10 x64, and everything will be taken care of automatically!

 

What about power?

Now that you know a little more about the performance of our new plan, let’s talk power. The AMD Ryzen Balanced power plan does not change how our processor handles low-power idle states called “CC-States.” These CC-States number cc1 through cc6, representing increasingly aggressive clock and power gating. In fact, cc6 represents a core that is essentially turned off. The core is sleeping so deeply that only its voltage can be detected by software.

 

The sophisticated power management technology in the “Zen” core can autonomously enter and exit these CC-States as quickly as 1ms. Software tools, unable to see through the sleep, will simply report the last P-state known to the OS before the core entered a CC-state. Don’t be alarmed! The effective frequency of a sleeping core is much lower (generally sub-1GHz).

 

In short:

 

  1. The AMD Ryzen™ Balanced power plan still permits aggressive power management. There should be little difference between the OEM Balanced and the Ryzen Balanced plan. We’re interested in your feedback!
  2. Performance of the AMD Ryzen™ Balanced power plan should be on par with the High Performance plan. We're interested in your feedback on this, too.
  3. Finally, if you see a third-party tool reporting “idle” clocks in the range of 3200-3400MHz, you can be virtually certain that the core is actually sleeping and the tool is simply reporting the last known P-State.

 

We’re very proud of the fast and granular power management in the “Zen” architecture, and we hope these explanations helps you better understand how our all-new processor functions.

 

Even more 1080p game performance updates

In our last community update, we brought you word of significant performance uplifts in Ashes of the Singularity™ and minimum framerate improvements in DOTA™ 2. Today we’re excited to share word of AMD Ryzen™ optimizations now available in Total War™: WARHAMMER with the game’s new “Bretonnia” patch—now available on Steam™!

 

The March 27th Bretonnia update helps the underlying game engine better understand the topology of Ryzen with respect to the number of logical vs. physical cores. Overall, this helps Total War: WARHAMMER better schedule threads on the processor to reduce resource contention.

 

Thanks to the great work from our friends over at Creative Assembly™ and SEGA®, we saw an uplift of up to 10.5% with the “High” preset and up to 7% with the more GPU-bound “UItra” graphics preset.

 

Testing conducted as of April 4, 2017. System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X, Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, 2x8GB DDR4-2933, GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Windows 10 x64 (build 1607), 1920x1080 resolution.

 

An important update for AMD Ryzen Master

If you’ve not heard of AMD Ryzen Master, it’s a neat little tool we built for users to monitor and overclocking their Ryzen-based computer.1  You get real-time access to temperatures and fan speeds, memory timings, core voltage, and CPU frequencies, plus easy switchable profiles. Super convenient!

 

Image result for amd ryzen master

 

Today we’re pleased to announce that Ryzen Master version 1.0.1 will be available starting April 11th with two important updates:

 

  1. Ryzen Master now reports junction temperature, rather than tCTL, by automatically removing the tCTL offset on the AMD Ryzen 1800X, 1700X, and 1600X processors. See the “temperature reporting” section of this blog for more context on tCTL.
  2. The installer no longer enables or requires HPET when Ryzen Master is installed with a system running an AGESA 1.0.0.4-based BIOS. See the “let’s talk BIOS updates” section of this blog for more context on AGESA 1.0.0.4.

 

Until next time

What are you interested in hearing more about in our next AMD Ryzen Community Update? Let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen!

 

 



Robert Hallock
is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.


Footnotes:

1. WARNING: AMD processors, including chipsets, CPUs, APUs and GPUs (collectively and individually “AMD processor”), are intended to be operated only within their associated specifications and factory settings. Operating your AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings, including but not limited to the conducting of overclocking (including use of this overclocking software, even if such software has been directly or indirectly provided by AMD or an entity otherwise affiliated in any way with AMD), may damage your processor, affect the operation of your processor or the security features therein and/or lead to other problems, including but not limited to damage to your system components (including your motherboard and components thereon (e.g., memory)), system instabilities (e.g., data loss and corrupted images), reduction in system performance, shortened processor, system component and/or system life, and in extreme cases, total system failure. It is recommended that you save any important data before using the tool.  AMD does not provide support or service for issues or damages related to use of an AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings. You may also not receive support or service from your board or system manufacturer. Please make sure you have saved all important data before using this overclocking software. DAMAGES CAUSED BY USE OF YOUR AMD PROCESSOR OUTSIDE OF OFFICIAL AMD SPECIFICATIONS OR OUTSIDE OF FACTORY SETTINGS ARE NOT COVERED UNDER ANY AMD PRODUCT WARRANTY AND MAY NOT BE COVERED BY YOUR BOARD OR SYSTEM MANUFACTURER’S WARRANTY.

Hi, everyone! About two weeks ago we started the first of many planned “Community Update” blogs about the AMD Ryzen™ ecosystem. In the initial update, we promised all sorts of goodies for our customers. Today we’re back to make good on that promise with some important updates on topics you proposed: performance tuning and BIOS updates.

 

Unleashing Ryzen in Ashes of the Singularity™

 

Enthusiasts aren’t strangers to the advanced game engine inside Ashes of the Singularity. Ashes distinguished itself early on as a visionary new breed of PC game that plainly proved the potential of low-overhead APIs, and it continues today as an often-updated game that can be punishing even at 1080p. As a bonus, the benchmark capabilities built into Ashes of the Singularity produce a refreshingly candid level of detail. It’s no surprise why the community has rallied around Ashes as a great game and a great test for new hardware.

 

Behind the scenes, AMD has enjoyed a great relationship with the teams at Stardock and Oxide Games. They were early supporters of the Mantle API project and have often collaborated with us on precision-tuned rendering paths for Radeon™ GPUs. This month, they were once again eager to help when we began our promised effort to work with game devs to extract the full performance of the AMD Ryzen™ processor.

 

After just a week or two of work, we’re pleased to report that a new build (v2.11.x) of Ashes of the Singularity is hitting Steam™ today with performance optimizations for the AMD Ryzen™ processor. Compared to version 2.10.25624 featured in the initial reviews for the AMD Ryzen 7 processors, this optimized build averaged a whopping 30% faster when we put it through our labs on the AMD Ryzen 7 1800X CPU.1

 

ahses1.png

System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution, high in-game quality preset.

 

As an additional layer of validation, we also tabulated some results for the CPU-Focused test (below). The CPU-focused test attempts to deemphasize the GPU and focus specifically on how well the processor is driving up game performance. A better result in this test positively correlates with the performance bottleneck being moved to the GPU where it belongs. Results for our optimizations were again notable, with the average performance of the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X jumping by 14.29%.

 

System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution, high in-game quality preset.

 

As a parting note on Ashes of the Singularity goodness, a major new update (v2.20.x) will soon be releasing with some great new features: game replays, mod support, three new maps, and a huge number of balance tweaks. The work AMD, Oxide, and Stardock have done for the AMD Ryzen™ processor will be carried forward, and you can learn more about the 2.20.x changes at the official Stardock forums.

 

Boosting minimum framerates in DOTA™ 2

 

Many gamers know that an intense battle in DOTA 2 can be surprisingly demanding, even on powerful hardware. But DOTA has an interesting twist: competitive gamers often tell us that the minimum framerate is what matters more than anything in life or death situations. Keeping that minimum framerate high and steady keeps the game smooth, minimizes input latency, and allows players to better stay abreast of every little change in the battle.

 

As part of our ongoing 1080p optimization efforts for the AMD Ryzen™ processor, we identified some fast changes that could be made within the code of DOTA to increase minimum framerates. In fact, those changes are already live on Steam as of the March 20 update!

 

We still wanted to show you the results, so we did a little A:B test with a high-intensity scene developed with the assistance of our friends in the Evil Geniuses eSports team. The results? +15% greater minimum framerates on the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X processor2, which lowers input latency by around 1.7ms.

 

Not bad for some quick wrenching under the hood, and we’re continuing to explore additional optimization opportunities in this title.

 

System configuration: AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X Processor, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows® 10 x64 build 1607, 1920x1080 resolution, tournament-optimized quality settings.

 

Let’s talk BIOS updates

 

Finally, we wanted to share with you our most recent work on the AMD Generic Encapsulated Software Architecture for AMD Ryzen™ processors. We call it the AGESA™ for short.

 

As a brief primer, the AGESA is responsible for initializing AMD x86-64 processors during boot time, acting as something of a “nucleus” for the BIOS updates you receive for your motherboard. Motherboard vendors take the baseline capabilities of our AGESA releases and build on that infrastructure to create the files you download and flash.

 

We will soon be distributing AGESA point release 1.0.0.4 to our motherboard partners. We expect BIOSes based on this AGESA to start hitting the public in early April, though specific dates will depend on the schedules and QA practices of your motherboard vendor.

 

BIOSes based on this new code will have four important improvements for you

  1. We have reduced DRAM latency by approximately 6ns. This can result in higher performance for latency-sensitive applications.
  2. We resolved a condition where an unusual FMA3 code sequence could cause a system hang.
  3. We resolved the “overclock sleep bug” where an incorrect CPU frequency could be reported after resuming from S3 sleep.
  4. AMD Ryzen™ Master no longer requires the High-Precision Event Timer (HPET).

 

We will continue to update you on future AGESA releases when they’re complete, and we’re already working hard to bring you a May release that focuses on overclocked DDR4 memory.

 

Until next time

 

What are you interested in hearing more about in our next AMD Ryzen Community Update? Let us know on Twitter @AMDRyzen.

 


Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

Footnotes:

  1. Testing conducted by AMD performance labs as of 3/27/2015. Baseline Ashes of the Singularity version (2.10.25624): 63.85 average FPS of all batches (avg FPS for normal, medium and large batches 68.62, 63.65 and 59.8 respectively). New version (2.11.x): 83.7 average FPS of all batches (avg FPS for normal, medium and large batches 92.25, 84.65 and 75.6 respectively). Total % increase in avg FPS for all batches: 31.1%. System configuration:  AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows 10 x64 1607, 1920x1080 Resolution, HIGH image quality preset. RZN-27
  2. Testing conducted by AMD performance labs as of 3/27/2015. Pre-March 20 update: 79 average minimum FPS. Post-March 20 update: 91 average minimum FPS. Uplift: 15%. System configuration:  AMD Ryzen 7 1800X, 2x8GB DDR4-2933 (15-17-17-35), GeForce GTX 1080 (378.92 driver), Gigabyte GA-AX370-Gaming5, Windows 10 x64 1607, 1920x1080 Resolution, HIGH image quality preset. RZN-28

The AMD Ryzen™ processor is a completely new and different platform from what gamers may be accustomed to, and established practices for configuring a system may prove incorrect or unreliable. We’ve assembled the following configuration steps to ensure users are extracting the best possible performance and reliability from their new PC.

 

Update Your Firmware

Ensure that you are using the latest UEFI ROM for your motherboard.

  1. The latest ROMs will support the Windows 10 tickless kernel for best application performance.
  2. Newer ROMs can improve the functionality/stability of your motherboard and its UEFI menu options.

 

Memory Matters

AMD Ryzen™ processors have an appetite for faster system RAM, but it’s important to ensure that you have a solid setup before proceeding.

 

  1. The AMD Ryzen™ processor does not offer memory dividers for DDR4-3000 or DDR4-3400. Users shooting for higher memory clocks should aim for 3200 or 3500 MT/s.
  2. Memory vendors have also begun to validate 32GB (4x8GB) kits at 3200 MT/s rates for select motherboards.
  3. Ensure that you are programming your BIOS with the recommended timings (CAS/tRCD/tRP/tRAS/tRC/CMD) and voltages specified on the DRAM packaging.
  4. To ensure reliable POST, the AMD Ryzen™ processor may fall back to a DIMM’s JEDEC SPD “safe” timings in the event an overclock proves unreliable. Most DIMMs are programmed to boot at DDR4-2133 unless otherwise instructed by the BIOS, so be sure your desired overclock is in place before performance testing. Use CPU-Z in Windows to confirm.
  5. For speed grades greater than DDR4-2667, please refer to a motherboard vendor’s memory QVL list. Each motherboard vendor tests specific speeds, modules, and capacities for their motherboards, and can help you find a memory pairing that works well. It is important you stick to this list for the best and most reliable results.1
  6. We have internally observed good results from 2933, 3200, and 3500 MT/s rates with 16GB kits based on Samsung “B-die” memory chips. Potential kits include:
    • Geil EVO X - GEX416GB3200C16DC [16-16-16-36 @ 1.35v]
    • G.Skill Trident Z - F4-3200C16D-16GTZR [16-18-18-36 @ 1.35v]
    • Corsair CMK16GX4M2B3200C16 VERSION 5.39 [16-18-18-36 @ 1.35v]
  7. Finally, as part of AMDs ongoing development of the new AM4 platform, AMD will increase support for overclocked memory configurations with higher memory multipliers. We intend to issue updates to motherboard partners in May that will enable them, on whatever products they choose, to support speeds higher than the current DDR4-3200 limit without refclk adjustments. AMD Ryzen™ processors already deliver great performance in prosumer, workstation, and gaming workloads, and this update will permit even more value and performance for enthusiasts who chose to run overclocked memory.
  8. AMD’s officially-supported DRAM configurations are below for your reference:

    DDR4 Speed (MT/s)
    Memory RanksDIMM Quantities
    2667Single2
    2400Dual2
    2133Single4
    1866Dual4


Mind Your Power Plan

Make sure the Windows® 10 High Performance power plan is being used (picture). The High Performance plan offers two key benefits:

 

  1. Core Parking OFF: Idle CPU cores are instantaneously available for thread scheduling. In contrast, the Balanced plan aggressively places idle CPU cores into low power states. This can cause additional latency when un-parking cores to accommodate varying loads.
  2. Fast frequency change: The AMD Ryzen™ processor can alter its voltage and frequency states in the 1ms intervals natively supported by the “Zen” architecture. In contrast, the Balanced plan may take longer for voltage and frequency changes due to software participation in power state changes.

 

In the near term, we recommend that games and other high-performance applications are complemented by the High Performance plan. By the first week of April, AMD intends to provide an update for AMD Ryzen™ processors that optimizes the power policy parameters of the Balanced plan to favor performance more consistent with the typical usage models of a desktop PC.

 

The Observer Effect

Ensure there are no background CPU temperature or frequency monitoring tools when performance is essential. Real-time performance measurement tools can have an observer effect that impacts performance, especially if the monitoring resolution (>1 sample/sec) is increased.

 

Overclocking!

Overclocking is a time-tested and beloved way to squeeze even more “free” performance out of a system. That’s why every AMD Ryzen™ processor is unlocked for overclocking.2

 

Consider the example of the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700 processor. It has a base clock of 3.0GHz, a two-core boost clock of 3.7GHz, an all-cores boost clock of 3.1GHz, and a 2-core XFR clock of 3.75GHz. Many have reported all-core overclocks of around 3.9GHz, which is a full 25% higher than the default behavior of the CPU.

 

PUTTING IT ALL TOGETHER

To test the performance impact of all of these various changes, we threw together a brand new Windows 10-based system with the following specifications:

 

  • AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X (8C16T/3.6-4.0GHz)
  • 16GB G.Skill (2x8) DDR4-3200
    • Clocked to 2133MT/s: 15-15-15-35-1t
    • Clocked to 2933MT/s: 14-14-14-30-1t
  • ASUS Crosshair VI Hero (5704 BIOS)
  • 1x AMD Radeon™ RX 480 GPU (Radeon Software 17.2.1)
  • Windows 10 Anniversary Update (Build 14393.10)

 

Throughout this process we also discovered that F1™ 2016 generates a CPU topology map (hardware_settings_config.xml) when the game is installed. This file tells the game how many cores and threads the system’s processor supports. This settings file is stored in the Steam™ Cloud and appears to get resynced on any PC that installs F1™ 2016 from the same Steam account. Therefore: if a user had a 4-core processor without SMT, then reused that same game install on a new AMD Ryzen™ PC, the game would re-sync with the cloud and believe the new system is also the same old quad core CPU.

 

Only a fresh install of the game allowed for a new topology map that better interpreted the architecture of our AMD Ryzen™ processor. Score one for clean computing! But it wasn’t a complete victory. We also discovered that the new and better topology map still viewed Ryzen™ as a 16-core processor, rather than an 8-core processor with 16 threads. Even so, performance was noticeably improved with the updated topology map, and performance went up from there as we threw additional changes into the system.

 

As an ultimate maneuver, we asked the question: “Can we edit this file?” The answer is yes! As a final step, we configured F1™ 2016 to use 8 physical CPU cores, rather than the 16 it was detecting by default. Performance went up again! After all was said and done, we gained a whopping 35.53% from our baseline configuration showing how a series of little changes can add up to something big.

 

The picture tells the story clear as day: configuration matters.

 

 


Robert Hallock is a technical marketing guy for AMD's CPU division. His/her postings are his own opinions and may not represent AMD’s positions, strategies or opinions. Links to third party sites are provided for convenience and unless explicitly stated, AMD is not responsible for the contents of such linked sites and no endorsement is implied.

 

Footnotes:

1. Overclocking memory will void any applicable AMD product warranty, even if such overclocking is enabled via AMD hardware and/or software.  This may also void warranties offered by the system manufacturer or retailer or motherboard vendor.  Users assume all risks and liabilities that may arise out of overclocking memory, including, without limitation, failure of or damage to RAM/hardware, reduced system performance and/or data loss, corruption or vulnerability.  GD-112
2. AMD processors, including chipsets, CPUs, APUs and GPUs (collectively and individually "AMD processor"), are intended to be operated only within their associated specifications and factory settings. Operating your AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings, including but not limited to the conducting of overclocking using the Ryzen Master overclocking software, may damage your processor, affect the operation of your processor or the security features therein and/or lead to other problems, including but not limited to damage to your system components (including your motherboard and components thereon (e.g., memory)), system instabilities (e.g., data loss and corrupted images), reduction in system performance, shortened processor, system component and/or system life, and in extreme cases, total system failure. It is recommended that you save any important data before using the tool.  AMD does not provide support or service for issues or damages related to use of an AMD processor outside of official AMD specifications or outside of factory settings. You may also not receive support or service from your board or system manufacturer. Please make sure you have saved all important data before using this overclocking software.

It’s been about two weeks since we launched the new AMD Ryzen™ processor, and I’m just thrilled to see all the excitement and chatter surrounding our new chip. Seems like not a day goes by when I’m not being tweeted by someone doing a new build, often for the first time in many years. Reports from media and users have also been good:

 

  • “This CPU gives you something that we needed for a long time, which is a CPU that gives you a well-rounded experience.” –JayzTwoCents
  • Competitive performance at 1080p, with Tech Spot saying the “affordable Ryzen 7 1700” is an “awesome option” and a “safer bet long term.”
  • ExtremeTech showed strong performance for high-end GPUs like the GeForce GTX 1080 Ti, especially for gamers that understand how much value AMD Ryzen™ brings to the table
  • Many users are noting that the 8-core design of AMD Ryzen™ 7 processors enables “noticeably SMOOTHER” performance compared to their old platforms.

 

While these findings have been great to read, we are just getting started! The AMD Ryzen™ processor and AM4 Platform both have room to grow, and we wanted to take a few minutes to address some of the questions and comments being discussed across the web.

 

Thread Scheduling

We have investigated reports alleging incorrect thread scheduling on the AMD Ryzen™ processor. Based on our findings, AMD believes that the Windows® 10 thread scheduler is operating properly for “Zen,” and we do not presently believe there is an issue with the scheduler adversely utilizing the logical and physical configurations of the architecture.

 

As an extension of this investigation, we have also reviewed topology logs generated by the Sysinternals Coreinfo utility. We have determined that an outdated version of the application was responsible for originating the incorrect topology data that has been widely reported in the media. Coreinfo v3.31 (or later) will produce the correct results.

 

Finally, we have reviewed the limited available evidence concerning performance deltas between Windows® 7 and Windows® 10 on the AMD Ryzen™ CPU. We do not believe there is an issue with scheduling differences between the two versions of Windows.  Any differences in performance can be more likely attributed to software architecture differences between these OSes.

 

Going forward, our analysis highlights that there are many applications that already make good use of the cores and threads in Ryzen, and there are other applications that can better utilize the topology and capabilities of our new CPU with some targeted optimizations. These opportunities are already being actively worked via the AMD Ryzen™ dev kit program that has sampled 300+ systems worldwide.

 

Above all, we would like to thank the community for their efforts to understand the Ryzen processor and reporting their findings. The software/hardware relationship is a complex one, with additional layers of nuance when preexisting software is exposed to an all-new architecture. We are already finding many small changes that can improve the Ryzen performance in certain applications, and we are optimistic that these will result in beneficial optimizations for current and future applications.

 

Temperature Reporting

The primary temperature reporting sensor of the AMD Ryzen™ processor is a sensor called “T Control,” or tCTL for short. The tCTL sensor is derived from the junction (Tj) temperature—the interface point between the die and heatspreader—but it may be offset on certain CPU models so that all models on the AM4 Platform have the same maximum tCTL value. This approach ensures that all AMD Ryzen™ processors have a consistent fan policy.

 

Specifically, the AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X and 1800X carry a +20°C offset between the tCTL° (reported) temperature and the actual Tj° temperature. In the short term, users of the AMD Ryzen™ 1700X and 1800X can simply subtract 20°C to determine the true junction temperature of their processor. No arithmetic is required for the Ryzen 7 1700. Long term, we expect temperature monitoring software to better understand our tCTL offsets to report the junction temperature automatically.

 

The table below serves as an example of how the tCTL sensor can be interpreted in a hypothetical scenario where a Ryzen processor is operating at 38°C.

 

Product NameTrue Junction Temp (Example)tCTL Offset for Fan Policy
Temp Reported by tCTL
AMD Ryzen™ 7 1800X38°C20°C58°C
AMD Ryzen™ 7 1700X38°C20°C58°C
AMD Ryzen™ 7 170038°C0°C38°C

 

Power Plans

Users may have heard that AMD recommends the High Performance power plan within Windows® 10 for the best performance on Ryzen, and indeed we do. We recommend this plan for two key reasons:

  1. Core Parking OFF: Idle CPU cores are instantaneously available for thread scheduling. In contrast, the Balanced plan aggressively places idle CPU cores into low power states. This can cause additional latency when un-parking cores to accommodate varying loads.
  2. Fast frequency change: The AMD Ryzen™ processor can alter its voltage and frequency states in the 1ms intervals natively supported by the “Zen” architecture. In contrast, the Balanced plan may take longer for voltage and frequency (V/f) changes due to software participation in power state changes.

In the near term, we recommend that games and other high-performance applications are complemented by the High Performance plan. By the first week of April, AMD intends to provide an update for AMD Ryzen™ processors that optimizes the power policy parameters of the Balanced plan to favor performance more consistent with the typical usage models of a desktop PC.

 

Simultaneous Multi-threading (SMT)

Finally, we have investigated reports of instances where SMT is producing reduced performance in a handful of games. Based on our characterization of game workloads, it is our expectation that gaming applications should generally see a neutral/positive benefit from SMT. We see this neutral/positive behavior in a wide range of titles, including: Arma® 3, Battlefield™ 1, Mafia™ III, Watch Dogs™ 2, Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI, For Honor™, Hitman™, Mirror’s Edge™ Catalyst and The Division™. Independent 3rd-party analyses have corroborated these findings.

 

For the remaining outliers, AMD again sees multiple opportunities within the codebases of specific applications to improve how this software addresses the “Zen” architecture. We have already identified some simple changes that can improve a game’s understanding of the "Zen" core/cache topology, and we intend to provide a status update to the community when they are ready.

 

Wrap-up

Overall, we are thrilled with the outpouring of support we’ve seen from AMD fans new and old. We love seeing your new builds, your benchmarks, your excitement, and your deep dives into the nuts and bolts of Ryzen. You are helping us make Ryzen™ even better by the day.  You should expect to hear from us regularly through this blog to answer new questions and give you updates on new improvements in the Ryzen ecosystem.